Arundhati Sathe designs ‘smart & sustainable’ road crossings

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Aug 2017 09:38:12


By Niraj Chinchkhede,

Her dream project if implemented could give a sigh of relief to hundreds of commuters facing hardship while passing through the city’s road crossings. It could also streamline movement of vehicles and eliminate possibilities of road accidents especially on crossings as she has come out with a unique and smart traffic signal system. Besides, the first-of-its-kind design developed by the die-hard Nagpurian also takes into account needs of physically challenged persons, effective handling of solid waste management and provides space to hawkers.

Taking into account, the local climatic conditions, commercial complexes located in the surroundings and the typical nature of vehicular movement at the city’s road crossings, Arundhati Sathe, an innovative and promising architect, has prepared green and sustainable designs for some of the crucial junctions.

She wants the concerned authorities to develop city’s squares on the lines of her designs and create world-class road crossings.

“We often witness ‘unplanned’ road dividers, signals and footpaths among other parameter bringing traffic in most of the squares to its knees. But I believe that we can change the system by introducing smart solutions,” she said adding that she has prepared green and sustainable designs for Laxmi Bhawan Square and Samvidhan Chowk involving an estimated expenditure of Rs 50 lakh each.

These designs could be replicated at other spots by way of making some modifications, she added.
Arundhati’s design proposes shades at all the four ends of the square (Laxmi Bhawan Square) that could give a breather to commuters.

“In summer, the scorching heat is a big concern for the commuters and they often take shelter below some tree. But while doing so, most of the times they block traffic,” she said suggesting smart shades the solution to it. Interestingly, instead of conventional shades made of metal sheets or systemic material, Arundhati has roped in a concept of mounting solar panels at strategic points at the square so that it could also general electricity to run traffic signals and other smart gadgets.

“While we were collecting data, we came to know that Laxmi Nagar Square requires 25 KV power every day. And the solar pannels are expected to generate about 10 KV,” she added.

To meet the reaming requirement, Arundhati has suggested electric friction panels. “It a system in which friction produced by cars or other vehicles including two-wheelers is used to generate electricity. It is a very simple technology that converts mechanical stress into an electrical current,” she said elaborating that electric friction panels could be installed in the square to general roughly 15 KV power.

“In my designs, I have extended road dividers by couple of yards and made zebra crossings well behind it. This is to restrict the commuters from crossing the line while they wait for their turn,” she said believing that some minor changes would create wonders if the local authorities seriously take her designs into consideration.

“Availability of free of cost power will allow us to install horizontal strip of red, green and yellow LED lights. Right now, we see traffic signal fixed at one corner that has limited visibility,” she said.

To deal with solid waste, Arundhati has proposed separate dustbins for dry and wet solid wastes aesthetically located on the footpaths. “I want the dustbins to be equipped with bio-metric sensors,” she said.